The Elm | OCPA’s La Vita Honored as UMB’s January Employee of the Month


OCPA’s La Vita Honored as UMB’s January Staff of the Thirty day period


Ananda La Vita

Graphic designer is regarded for her difficult perform and organizational competencies with the Clery Report and commitment to producing advertising products ADA-compliant.

Every single 12 months, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is demanded by federal legislation to deliver the Once-a-year Security and Hearth Safety Report, aka Clery Report, which includes on-campus criminal offense, arrest, and fireplace basic safety data for the earlier three several years and functions College guidelines and methods intended to promote protection and stability.

The UMB Law enforcement Department (UMBPD), Business of Accountability and Compliance (OAC), and Office environment of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA) add to producing the Clery Report, which includes several updates and edits and spans 180 internet pages, generating for a laborious course of action. For one particular UMB staff integral to the Clery Report’s production, nonetheless, it’s a labor of enjoy.

“I delight in obtaining a huge project to get into the zone with,” mentioned Ananda La Vita, graphic designer, OCPA, who has made the Clery Report booklet/PDF due to the fact 2019. “It’s oddly pleasing to organize a mass of materials into a coherent construction.”

La Vita’s operate on the Clery Report and other jobs was highlighted Jan. 13 in a videoconference where she was stunned with news that she experienced been named UMB’s Personnel of the Thirty day period for January. President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, and personnel associates from UMBPD, OAC, and OCPA were being on hand to rejoice La Vita, who thought she was attending a conference to explore developing the 2023 Clery Report and was surprised at the announcement of her award.

“Ananda, you have a search of amazement on your confront,” Jarrell stated with a smile. “But we seriously are here these days to rejoice you. You are the initial Worker of the Month of 2023, so congratulations on this fantastic accomplishment. Your colleagues wrote a glowing report about all of your difficult perform, specially on the Clery Report, so I know this is a nicely-deserved recognition.”

Dana Rampolla, director of built-in advertising and marketing, who manages the Clery project for OCPA, nominated La Vita for the award, noting her organizational abilities in collecting updates from the workplaces concerned in making the report, which was revamped and redesigned in 2019 to make it simpler to browse and far more aesthetically pleasing.

“Ananda has worked tirelessly on the Clery Report the earlier number of yrs and navigated a ton of adjustments and requests — many instances last-minute requests — for this extremely long, deadline-pushed venture,” Rampolla claimed. “The report has progressed immensely over the last two decades specially, and it has turn into greater aligned with the Clery committee’s aim of generating a solid advertising piece when assembly the Oct. 1 deadline just about every 12 months.

“Ananda shows great attention to detail, endurance for individuals all over her and their various conversation types, and an potential to meet up with the deadline with changing and difficult obstructions. I worth her involvement when performing on a job jointly because, with these attributes, she really demonstrates what currently being a team player implies.”

Julie Bower, who is assistant director of design and style providers for OCPA and La Vita’s supervisor, agreed.

“Everyone acknowledges the advancement in the Clery Report due to the fact Ananda has taken it on from a design standpoint and just how structured she’s been in developing it,” Bower stated. “I’ve worked on the Clery Report in the earlier, and it is a very huge challenge. Ananda has surely taken a management position on this undertaking that is a lot appreciated.”

Laura Kozak, MA, senior associate vice president, OCPA, mentioned, “The Clery Report is an crucial job mainly because it will help UMB advertise a protected and protected campus for our students, college, staff members, and guests. I take pleasure in Ananda’s hard get the job done and determination to this report and all of her initiatives.”

Vanessa Harrington, director of stability and compliance, UMBPD, extra to the praise.

“I joined in the middle of the Clery Report course of action very last calendar year, and I had 8 million thoughts and 8 million ideas,” Harrington said. “Every time I wanted to thank somebody for their endeavours, they retained declaring, ‘Thank Ananda.’ So I appreciate Ananda’s persistence with the system, and I value that she produced anything glance superior.”

La Vita says her attempts on the Clery Report are inspired in section by her appreciation for Title IX, the federal civil legal rights law that prohibits discrimination on the foundation of intercourse in educational courses and functions. The law overlaps with the Clery Report in relation to institutional response to incidents of relationship violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

“I treatment about Title IX,” explained La Vita, who joined UMB in 2017. “I feel it is an essential law, and Clery is an important report. I worth the transparency that this report delivers to UMB pupils and workforce around criminal offense and how to keep away from potential crime.”

In addition to the Clery Report, La Vita styles the UMB President’s Concept newsletter each month as nicely as flyers, digital displays, brochures, and other marketing product for UMB faculties, offices, and initiatives this kind of as Launch Your Lifetime, the UMBrella Team, and the Donaldson Brown Riverfront Occasion Heart. She also is OCPA’s go-to person for Us citizens with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508 compliance on this kind of components.

Rampolla also praised La Vita’s determination to accessibility.

“Ananda wears lots of hats on the OCPA style and design crew, and she is dependable for making sure the ADA compliance of a substantial range of digital documents developed by our business office,” Rampolla reported. “This is a element-oriented endeavor, and she repeatedly looks for strategies to boost her understanding and skills in this location to deliver top-notch products and solutions.”

La Vita, who will obtain a plaque, letter of commendation, and a $250 reward as Staff of the Month rewards, reported, “I value the freedom I have to just take initiative all around accessibility, especially making PDFs obtainable, and to master extra about it.

“I assist the principle of common design — earning graphically designed products as straightforward and understandable to use as probable for everybody,” additional La Vita, who said the shock of winning the award left her at a loss for phrases through the teleconference.

“I was expecting to be in the track record of that meeting, getting notes, and all of a sudden President Jarrell shows up on the screen and he’s addressing me straight, so I was a little stunned by that,” she explained. “I’m still a very little stunned 5 days later on. But it is so gratifying to be regarded like that, and I seriously recognize Dana, Julie, and all of my colleagues for their assistance.”

(For a lot more info on the Clery Rerport and to down load the 2022 report, simply click listed here.)